Her sanctuary became desolate like a desert; her feasts were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into a reproach, her honor into contempt.
Her dishonor now grew as great as her glory; her exaltation was turned into mourning.
Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people,
and that all should give up their particular customs.
All the Gentiles accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.
And the king sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah; he directed them to follow customs strange to the land,
to forbid burnt offerings and sacrifices and drink offerings in the sanctuary, to profane sabbaths and festivals,
to defile the sanctuary and the priests,
to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and other unclean animals,
and to leave their sons uncircumcised. They were to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and profane,
so that they would forget the law and change all the ordinances.
He added, "And whoever does not obey the command of the king shall die."
In such words he wrote to his whole kingdom. He appointed inspectors over all the people and commanded the towns of Judah to offer sacrifice, town by town.
Many of the people, everyone who forsook the law, joined them, and they did evil in the land;